In the video, you'll notice two issues that could have been improved: space and lighting. The room was too small and crowded, making it difficult for us to relax. The fluorescent lighting wasn't ideal either – it gave off an office-like vibe that affected the energy of the show.
To be clear, the interview and performance were both fine. But the lesson is still the same – space and comfort matters in podcasting. And setting up your studio correctly can help you to get better interviews for your podcast.
An observant engineer noticed issues with our setup and suggested changes. He provided comfortable chairs for both me and the guest, as well as a side table with a lamp, so I didn’t need to rely on overhead fluorescent lights to see my notes. This transformed the atmosphere into something more like a living room.
Consider your own recording setup:
- Is there enough space for you and your guests?
- Is the lighting comfortable?
Additional Ways to Increase Guest Comfort
Make your guests feel at home by providing water or coffee. Letting them know what to expect during the interview. Both are simple, but will yield big results for you.
Additionally, consider whether video recording is necessary for an audio-only podcast. Having a camera in someone's face can make them feel exposed and self-conscious. Audio-only interviews can help guests feel more at ease, even when doing interviews remotely. This will also force both you and your guest to listen and keep you on the same page as the listener, who won't have video to work with.